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Editors' Forum | Small business conference to 'demystify' ignored business elements - Students expected out in numbers

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Suzette Campbell

The main takeaway for the many business-minded tertiary and vocational students who will flock to this week's 11th annual Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Small Business Expo and Conference should be that financing isn't the only vital element of a fledgling business.

"There are other very important, often-ignored elements of business, and we hope to demystify it for them because the reason why they overlook them is because they see them as bigger than they actually are," said Suzette Campbell, corporate communications manager of the JBDC, during a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the company's North Street, Kingston offices, last Friday.




Campbell pointed out that the one-day event, to be staged at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will be accessible to students with valid school IDs for just $1,000, while other entrants pay $1,500.

She said this was strategic as the JBDC and its sponsors continue to target young people, realising that there is a spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth.

"Everybody is interested in financing, but they do not pay attention to how to build their team," she asserted.

"They don't pay attention to the right systems that they need to put in place in terms of governance and the law; how it can be your friend as well as how it can hurt you. The legal element is very critical to business development.

"Also, having the right mindset to be an entrepreneur. So, they should come away from this with key elements that they need to consider before activating that dream of being an entrepreneur."

While pointing out that there is heightened interest from institutions like HEART who tend to come in "scores" every year, Campbell said that entrepreneurial college students have also been anticipating the conference.

"There are also those who would have exited the system and are still in their early 20s, still in school doing their master's degrees and so on that want to come here, and we say to all of them, 'Come out to give yourself that opportunity to realise your dream of being an entrepreneur. You are studying but you do not have to study just to work for someone; you can study to build your own business, and this is a good place to start'," Campbell reasoned.